The author has been described by News Ltd as an "iconoclast", "Svengali", a pollie's "economist muse", and "pungently accurate". Fairfax says he is a "Renaissance man" and "one of Australia’s most respected analysts." Stephen Koukoulas concludes that he is "85% right", and "would make a great Opposition leader." Terry McCrann claims the author thinks "‘nuance’ is a trendy village in the south of France", but can be "scintillating" when he thinks "clearly". The ACTU reckons he’s "an enigma wrapped in a Bloomberg terminal, wrapped in some apparently well-honed abs."

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

AFG: first home buyers storm back into housing market

From AFG:

"First Home Buyers are returning to the market in greater numbers than at any time since September 2009, according to AFG, Australia’s largest mortgage broker. The AFG Mortgage Index shows that First Home Buyers comprised 16.4% of all loans processed – a 40% increase for this buyer category compared to October 2010 when they comprised 11.8% of the mortgage market.

Non majors have seized more market share than at any time over the past twelve months now comprising 21.1% of all home loans. Their products are of particular appeal to first home buyers, where almost 30% of the market is held by non majors, as well as buyers looking to refinance, where non majors account for a 21.2% market share."

First Home Buyers were particularly active in NSW, where 21.1% of home loans were arranged for them in October, as well as QLD (17.9%) and WA (17.3%). More mortgage buyers opted for fixed rate loans in October than in any month since March 2008. Fixed rate loans comprised 20.4% of all home loans processed in October – dramatic growth considering they comprised only 7.9% of home loans as recently as July 2011.

Mark Hewitt, General Manager of Sales and Operations at AFG says: ‘Buyers are reaping the benefits of one of the most competitive mortgage markets we’ve seen in years. Discounted fixed rate loans appealed to all buyer types, but especially first home buyers and those looking to refinance. We have been slightly surprised with the popularity of fixed rates given it has been generally predicted variable rates would decrease and we would now expect the proportion of fixed rate loans to fall, following the cut in variable rates announced yesterday. Non major lenders are doing increasingly well in this environment and hopefully yesterday’s news will further support a market recovery which is still in its very early stages.'"